Bellagio (hotel and casino) in Las Vegas
Bellagio is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in the Paradise area of unincorporated Clark County, Nevada, USA and a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. It is owned by MGM Resorts International and was built on the site of the demolished Dunes hotel and casino.
Inspired by the Lake Como resort of Bellagio in Italy, Bellagio is famed for its elegance. One of its most notable features is an 8 acre lake between the building and the Strip, which houses the Fountains of Bellagio, a large dancing water fountain synchronized to music.
Inside Bellagio, Dale Chihuly's Fiori di Como, composed of over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers, covers 2000 sqft of the lobby ceiling. Bellagio is home to Cirque du Soleil's aquatic production "O".
The main (original) tower of the Bellagio, with 3,015 rooms, has 36 floors and a height of 508 ft (151 m). The Spa Tower, which stands to the south of the main tower, had 33 floors, a height of 392 ft (119 m), and contains 935 rooms.
Bellagio was conceived by Steve Wynn and built by his company, Mirage Resorts, Inc. following the purchase and demolition of the legendary Dunes hotel and casino in 1993. Bellagio was designed by DeRuyter Butler and Atlandia Design. Bellagio had an original construction cost of US$1.6 billion.
The Bellagio opened October 15, 1998, just before 11 p.m. in a ceremony that was reported to cost US$88 million. The VIPs invited to the grand opening were expected to donate to The Foundation Fighting Blindness US$1,000 a person or US$3,500 a couple, which entitled them to an overnight stay at Bellagio's suite rooms.
Opening night's entertainment began with Steve Wynn giving a 40-minute welcome speech followed by the opening of the Cirque du Soleil production "O." Performing in Bellagio lounges that night were New York cabaret and recording artist Michael Feinstein, George Bugatti and John Pizarrelli. When it opened, it was the most expensive hotel ever built.
In 2000 it became an MGM Mirage property when Mirage Resorts merged with MGM Grand Inc. to create MGM Mirage. In 2010 the company was renamed MGM Resorts International in a move to go worldwide with its brands.
The Bellagio employs approximately 10,000 people. In the fall of 2006, the casino floor was remodeled and new uniforms were issued, changing the original color scheme to a more elegant type.
On December 15, 2010, a helmet-wearing gunman robbed the casino of $1.5 million in chips.. In August, 2011 he was convicted to a prison term of 9-27 years.
The Bellagio has won the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award (the highest level of the AAA Diamond Ratings System for restaurants and lodgings) 11 times.
The Bellagio's main tower is currently undergoing a $70 million upgrade. By December 2011, all of the main tower's 2,500 rooms will be remodeled.
Power outage incident
On July 15, 2009. The Hotel and part of the casino lost power due to electrical work. The hotel remained that way for two days. All guests were taken to a different location as it was too hot to be in the hotel.
- The fountains are shown briefly in one scene of the movie Rush Hour 2.
- Bellagio and its fountains are featured in the 2007 film Lucky You and the 2008 film 21.
- Bellagio was featured prominently in the remake of Ocean's Eleven. The curved staircase that Tess Ocean (played by Julia Roberts) descended was removed during a 2006 remodel to accommodate the entrance pathway from a newly built hotel tower, called The Spa Tower. New shops and restaurants fill the space. The fictitious vault for the three casinos that were robbed (MGM Grand, Mirage, and Bellagio) owned by Terry Benedict (played by Andy García) was located beneath the Bellagio in 200 ft of solid earth.
- In the 2007 film Ocean's Thirteen, Daniel Ocean (played by George Clooney) is talking about The Dunes Hotel (which was situated on the same place before the Bellagio was built) while he is standing in front of the Fountains of Bellagio together with Rusty Ryan (played by Brad Pitt).
- In the 2008 film What Happens in Vegas, the limo in which Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Rob Cordry and Lake Bell stops in front of the fountains and Diaz and Bell exit. This scene is notable for Bellagio signs that appear on the lamp posts in front of the fountain which are not actually present in real life.
- In the 2008 animated film Bolt, the hotel together with its fountains is shown while the song Barking at the moon is playing (Bolt and Mittens stand in front of the fountains during a water show at night with fireworks).
- In the 2009 film 2012, Bellagio, along with the rest of The Strip, was destroyed while the dome of the hotel is nearly crashed into by the giant plane similar to the Antonov An-225.
- In the 2009 film The Hangover, the Bellagio fountains are featured in the opening scenes. Towards the end of the film, Doug (played by Justin Bartha) finds Bellagio chips in his pocket after being found.
- In the 2010 Hindi film Anjaana Anjaani
Many professional poker players prefer to play at the Bellagio poker room, calling it their home base (or more commonly "The Office") due to the high table limits, including the high stakes Big Game located in "Bobby's Room", named after Bobby Baldwin.
Bellagio has also partnered with the World Poker Tour to host several of their tournaments.
Fountains of Bellagio
The Fountains of Bellagio is a vast, choreographed water feature with performances set to light and music. (See musical fountain.) The performances take place in front of the Bellagio hotel and are visible from numerous vantage points on the Strip, both from the street and neighboring structures. The show takes place every 30 minutes in the afternoons and early evenings, and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight. Before a water show starts, the nozzles break the water surface and the lights illuminating the hotel tower turn to a purple hue (usually), or red-white-and-blue for certain music. Shows may be cancelled without warning because of wind, although shows usually run with less power in face of wind. A single show may be skipped to avoid interference with a planned event. The fountain display is choreographed to various pieces of music, including songs by Andrea Bocelli, Frank Sinatra, and Gene Kelly.
The fountains are set in a 9 acre manmade lake. Contrary to urban myth, the lake is not filled with treated greywater from the hotel. The lake is actually serviced by a freshwater well that was drilled decades prior to irrigate a golf course that previously existed on the site. The fountains actually use less water than irrigating the golf course did. They incorporate a network of pipes with more than 1,200 nozzles that make it possible to stage fountain displays coordinated with more than 4,500 lights. It is estimated that the fountains cost $40 million to build. The fountains were created by WET, a design firm specializing in inventive fountains and architectural water features.
Four types of nozzles are used for the various effects:
- Oarsmen - jets with a full range of spherical motion
- Shooters - shoot water upwards
- Super Shooters - send a water blast as high as 240 ft in the air.
- Extreme Shooters - send a water blast as high as 460 ft (added in 2005)
- "One" (from A Chorus Line) by the Original Broadway Cast
- "Hoe-Down" by London Symphony Orchestra
- "Simple Gifts" (from Appalachian Spring) by Aaron Copland
- "Singin' in the Rain" by Gene Kelly
- "Rondine al Nido" by Luciano Pavarotti
- "Luck Be a Lady" by Frank Sinatra
- "Winter Games" by David Foster
- "Hey, Big Spender" by Gwen Verdon & Original Broadway Cast
- "Con Te Partirò" (Time to Say Goodbye) by Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman
- "Hallelujah Chorus" by Mormon Tabernacle Choir
- "Carol of the Bells" by Los Angeles Master Chorale
- "O Holy Night" by Placido Domingo
- "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" by Johnny Mathis
- "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Johnny Mathis
- "We Need a Little Christmas" by Johnny Mathis
- "Sleigh Ride" by Johnny Mathis
- "Santa Baby" by Madonna
- "Your Song" by Elton John
- "God Bless The USA" by Lee Greenwood
- "Star Spangled Banner" by Whitney Houston
- "Pink Panther" by Henry Mancini
- "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
- "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra with Count Basie
- "This Kiss" by Faith Hill
- "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" by Mikhail Rudy
- "Gayaneh Suite (Dawn, Ayeshe's Dance)" by London Symphony Orchestra
- "Overture and All That Jazz" by Catherine Zeta Jones
- "Ecstasy of Gold" by Ennio Morricone
- "Viva Las Vegas" by Elvis Presley
Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The hotel also contains a Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. In total, there are five seasonal themes that the Conservatory undergoes: Chinese New Year, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. From January to mid-March, the Conservatory celebrates the Chinese New Year with a display dominated by flowers bromeliads and Orchids, as well as the animal of that particular year that the Chinese zodiac celebrates. The theme then changes over to the Spring display, which lasts until May, and usually features a butterfly house as well as many varieties of tropical flowers. During Memorial Day weekend, the Bellagio then switches over to its All-American Summer display, featuring a large recreation of the Liberty Bell, as well as several American flags throughout the Conservatory. The Summer display is usually very patriotic featuring a lot of red, white, and blue, and is dominated by hydrangeas. From late September until Thanksgiving weekend, the Conservatory then puts on it Fall display featuring several varieties of chrysanthemum and several large pumpkins throughout the display. Finally, the Conservatory then switches over to its winter holiday display after Thanksgiving, which is dominated by its large centerpiece Christmas Tree and several varieties of poinsettia. Whatever the season, colorful displays are decorated with many real fragrant flowers, and fountains may also be present. The Conservatory is located next to the lobby of the hotel and is open to the public.
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (BGFA)
In addition to the numerous works of art found throughout the public areas of the resort, the Bellagio also houses a special exhibition space displaying art work on loan from various museums and private collections from around the world. Originally the space that displayed the personal art collection of Steve Wynn, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art has since become a rotating exhibition space after he sold his hotels in 2000. In the past, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art was located atop the grand staircase in the Conservatory that Julia Roberts descended in the movie Ocean's Eleven, but was then moved to its larger current location along the pool promenade eight months after Bellagio opened to better accommodate larger crowds.
Currently, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is hosting a landscape exhibit titled, A Sense of Place: Landscapes from Monet to Hockney. It features over 30 different landscape works ranging from the mid-1800s to present day, culled from the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the private collection of MGM Resorts International. The current exhibit will be on display until January 2012 and features works by Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Alex Katz, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein, and Vik Muniz, among several other artists.
Past exhibits at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art include:
- Impressionism: Art in Bloom
- Kindly Lent Their Owner: The Private Collection of Steve Martin
- Alexander Caldar: The Art of Invention
- Faberge: Treasures From the Kremlin
- Andy Warhol: The Celebrity Portraits
- Treasures from Chatsworth: A British Noble House
- Monet: Masterworks From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
- The Impressionist Landscape: From Corot to Van Gogh
- Ansel Adams: America
- In the Master’s Hand: Picasso’s Ceramics
- Classic Contemporary: Lichtenstein, Warhol, & Friends
- American Modernism
- 12 + 7: Artists and Architects of City Center
- Figuratively Speaking: A Survey of the Human Form
Awards and reputation
The Bellagio was awarded its 12th AAA Five Diamond award in 2011 for the year 2012, making it the first hotel on the Las Vegas Strip and one of a select few in the world to reach this milestone. It is the only hotel in the world to house two Five Diamond award winning restaurants under the same roof. Because of its distinctions, it has a reputation as one of the finest hotels worldwide and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
- AAA Five Diamond Award, 2001 - 2012
- Celebrated Living #1 Hotel in the U.S. Readers Choice Platinum List, 2009
- Condé Nast Traveler Magazine Gold List of the World's Best Places to Stay, 2008 - 2011
- Expedia Insiders Select Top Destination Resort, 2009
- Forbes Travel Guide, Five Star Award for The Villas at Bellagio
- Forbes Traveler Magazine World’s 400 Best Hotels, 2008 - 2011
- Market Metrix Hospitality Index Best Upscale Casino Hotel, 2008
- Travel + Leisure Magazine Top 500 World’s Best Hotels, 2009, 2010, 2011
- Travel Weekly - Readers Choice Award 2008
- Trip Advisor Top 10 Attractions in the US #1 Bellagio Fountains, 2008
- Qantas Frequent Flyer Favorite Hotel, 2009
- Zagat Survey Top Overall, 2008; Most Popular Hotel, 2008
- Las Vegas Strip
- Musical fountain
- Bellagio website
- Bellagio photos
- Bellagio Slots Website
- The Bank - Nightclub at Bellagio
- Satellite view of the site on Google Maps tour
- Bellagio Video Footage